Magnus Gluteus Maximus 50k

Oops. Looks like I once again forgot to blog about an ultra. A few weeks ago was the VHTRC’s Magnus Gluteus Maximus FatAss 50k. Great times were had by all. I ran 24 miles to be “conservative” while recovering from my Grindstone/Masochist tendinitis (which I am happy to say is long gone). Anyways, here are a few shots since I’m not going to get around to writing more about it. We ran. We drank. We were festive. THE END.

The rest of my pictures from the event can be found here.

4 posts in 1 because I’m lazy!

Yikes! Where has the summer gone? For those religiously following this blog (ha, yeah right), it probably appears that I’ve dropped off the face of the Earth since Badwater. Quite the contrary, I’ve been pretty busy and once again have been slacking on the blogging. To catch up, here’s a quick summary of four recent events: Catherine’s FatAss 50k, Riley’s Rumble Half-Marathon pictures, Coach Mike’s Impromptu 50k, and Grindstone Training Runs Weekend.

Catherine’s FatAss 50k
July 18, 2009

Having been back from Badwater for only a day, I made my way out to the usual spot (Massanutten Trails) with the usual suspects (VHTRC crew) for some more pounding on the legs. What better way to kick off my 100 miler training than 30ish miles pacing at Badwater, 22 miles on Mt Whitney and a 50k, all in one week?

Michelle, Sophie, myself and Marc on Bird Knob overlook

The weather was beautiful, although a tad too humid for my liking having just been in Death Valley. I ran with Sophie for most of the day and we chit-chatted about training, Badwater, and people who need people. At one aide station we came across a strange looking creature that I’ve never seen in the woods. It moved slowly, had an odd looking white head, and seemed keen to eat whatever was in sight. Oh wait, nevermind that was just Alisa Springman wearing her Badwater sun hood while she worked the aid station!

Alisa, post-Badwater, trying to cool me down for a change

All in all, it was a sweaty good day of running (no joke, probably the most I’ve ever sweated in my life… thanks heat acclimation training!) that ended with a phenomenal BBQ and party at the finish line. Thanks to Tommy and Kirstin for manning the grill, and Jeff for organizing the whole event and providing the grub and tasty adult beverages. This is really what summer is all about!

Finish line BBQ and party… great times!

See the rest of my CFA pics HERE.

Riley’s Rumble Half-Marathon pictures
July 26, 2009

I once-again pretended to be a photographer while spectating at the Riley’s Rumble Half-Marathon in Gaithersburg, MD. It started pouring right after the start, but luckily the camera survived and I was able to get some cool shots once the skies opened back up. Check out all the pictures HERE.

Kelly Hunsecker finishing Riley’s Rumble Half
Ominous Mark Zimmerman before race start

Coach Mike’s Impromptu Monday Morning 50k
July 27, 2009

My coach, Mike Broderick, has been slowly but surely planting the ultra seed into a few road runners that he coaches. Most gullible… errr… willing to partake our wonderful sport were Renee Bates and Eve Mills. Mike asked if I wanted to partake in the fun, and not having any pressing deadlines at work, I took the day off and went for a nice 31 mile jaunt on the Seneca Greenway trails. We started at the crack of dawn from Mike’s driveway, headed a block to the trailhead, and off we went, passing various aid drops that Mike had made the night before.

Can you hear me now? Good!

Renee and Eve seemed to enjoy themselves on the trails. As road runners, I think it was the walking breaks that they seemed to enjoy the most! Ahh the joys of ultrarunning.

Eve leading Renee through some nice open Seneca Greenway trails

Back-to-Back Grindstone Training Weekend
August 8-9, 2009

Clark Zealand, RD for the Grindstone 100, put together a nice little training weekend for those of us who needed to familiarize themselves with the race course. With the race being 50 miles out and 50 miles back, we were able to see every step of the race course while only running half the course.

We camped at the Shenandoah Boy Scout Camp, the race’s start/finish, and carpooled to our starting location each morning. Saturday morning we started at the race’s turnaround, which has been extended a tad from last year’s course after recalculating distances. Day 1 consisted of 30 miles, ending at Dowell’s Draft and taking us through miles 50-80 of the course.

Day 1 at the (yet to be named) turnaround point

Jeremy Ramsey, Jared Hesse, Clark Zealand and myself held down the front of the pack all of Saturday, marking the course as we went. David Horton was with us for the first mile or so, but he was still recovering from his Colorado Trail Speed Attempt so he made the smart move and dropped off. Running with these guys was tough at times, but being able to keep up all day was a huge boost of confidence, showing how much endurance/speed I gained back after all my time off from the ITB injury.

Day 2 started where we finished the day before, Dowell’s Draft, and took us all the way to the finish at Camp Shenandoah. Instead of hammering it out with the Lynchburg boys again, I took the conservative route and as per usual found myself running with Sophie (she’s good entertainment and we have the same comfortable pace… a win-win situation). And no, the matching VHTRC gear was not intentional, we just have club pride!

Sophie and I at the end of Day 2

The combined 50+ miles for the weekend left my quads thoroughly trashed, the perfect training for me since the flat stuff I run on around home doesn’t cut it in terms of any mountable elevation gain. Seeing the course (and getting the GPS readings) was a huge confidence boost as well, so come race day I should at least have some familiarity with where I am and what is to come. Let the logistics planning begin!

About midway through Saturday, my left calf/soleus started to feel tight. The tightness continued all day so I stretched and massaged the crap out of it post-run. Sunday started out fine, but for a few miles mid-way through the day the soleus tightness came back. What was up? Apparently my 3 mile barefoot run on the Thursday prior, combined with a 50 mile weekend, was too much stress on the soleus too soon. Lesson learned, ease slower into the barefoot running! No worries though, the tightness went away after a recovery week with low mileage.

See the rest of my Gstone Training Weekend pics HERE.

Browtown Loop 4th of July run

Independence day is celebrated slightly differently in the VHTRC than with most typical Americans. Yes, we wear our red, white and blue and we drink our beer, but instead of sitting around on our lazy butts, we prefer to take in the enjoyment of the beauty that mother nature has bestowed upon these wonderful United States of America.

The gang’s all here

This was my first ever Browntown Loop, but the tradition has been carried on for 9 years now. Roughly 25 runners met at the Massie’s Corner and carpooled to the trail head. Now, like some other shindigs that I’ve been to with the club, an organized event is not technically allowed on these sections of trail, so the disorganization of the event allowed those “in charge” to deny any sort of responsibility for the run and/or post-run party.

The course took us through the usual Shenandoah National Park, an out-and-back to an overlook (pictured below), across Skyline Drive and onto some country roads that ultimately lead us into the small town of Browntown. I ran with Brad Hinton, Brian Schmidt and John Cassilly for the majority of the run. Sean Andrish also made appearances at the beginning and end, but his knee was causing problems from a fall a few weeks back so he took a shortcut across the AT instead of heading into Browntown. Once in Browntown, we were treated to our only aid station of the day, the general store for the small town. Being the frontrunners, we purchased some ice, water, soda and snacks and left any unused goods for the next batch of runners to make their way through.

Sean Andrish, myself, Brad Hinton and John Cassilly at the overlook
Two elusive loverbirds caught in the act. Get moving, you two!
Brad, myself and Schmidty at the Browntown general store

Heading out of Browntown was a few more miles of road, followed by a nice steep climb up to the AT and Skyline Drive. After having left us many miles back, Sean Andrish caught back up and his knee was feeling better than ever. Great for him, bad for me! This dude is speedy, and for the last few miles of downhill, John Cassilly and myself struggled to keep up with Sean, Brad and Schmidty. Schmidty is actually tapering for his first 100 out at Vermont in a few weeks, so if this is his taper speed, he’s gonna rock it out at VT. (Side note: I am late in writing this blog post and Schmidty just yesterday ran the VT100… 5th place!)

John and myself finished the 21-mile loop in 3:56, just a few minutes behind the speed demons. It was a beautiful run to celebrate the 4th and we were able to soak in the cold stream post-run for recovery. I am glad to say that my IT Band didn’t act up one bit, and it hasn’t in over a month, so it looks like I’m back in action! The mileage is slowly getting back up there and I’m feeling great.

The perfect end to a great run
Of course there was some post-race beer drinking. We are Americans afterall! For more pictures of the race and the party, check them out at my Flickr page HERE.
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